Senior Vice President for policy think-tank, IMANI-Africa, Kofi Bentil, has decried the role of the 1st Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, in the passing of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.

Mr. Osei-Owusu sat in as Speaker on Tuesday for proceedings of the day in the absence of Alban Bagbin and supervised the passing of the 2022 budget, which had initially been rejected by the Minority.

When it was time to vote, the 1st Deputy Speaker counted himself among the Majority Caucus, thus meeting the required majority of 138 members present and voting to approve the 2022 budget, in the absence of MPs from the Minority, who declined to participate in the business of the day.

The legality of this act has been questioned by a section of the public, including Mr. Bentil who contends that since the 1st Deputy Speaker was acting as Speaker during the proceedings, he could not possibly be counted as an MP as well.

“The law specifically makes it clear that if you ascend the office of the Speaker, you drop or put down your position as a member of Parliament and you cannot act in the two offices at the same time,” he said.

In a reaction to the comment, MP for Okaikoi Central, Patrick Yaw Boamah who was also on the show justified the move by the 1st Deputy Speaker, insisting that Joseph Osei-Owusu did nothing wrong.

He argued that Mr. Osei-Owusu had already registered as an MP for Bekwai before the clerk of the House announced the “unavoidable absence of the Speaker.”

“So for the purposes of decision, the House had the majority of 138 members in the House,” he said.

But Mr Bentil stood his ground, emphasising that “if the 1st Deputy Speaker was in Parliament as the MP for Bekwai then whatever he did in the House [with regards to approving the budget] was moot and void.”

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